Appeal Made to Local Churches to Revise Child Abuse Prevention Measures

RJR [Jamaica]
July 18, 2006

The United Church of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands is calling on the leadership of local churches to revise measures which are in place to prevent the abuse of children.

The announcement comes in the wake of the public outcry over the alleged assault of a schoolgirl in the presence of a church Deacon and the subsequent failure of the church to report the matter to the police.

In a release, the United Church said all churches should ensure that their leadership is aware of the provisions of the Child Care and Protection Act.

The church is also encouraging the leadership of local denominations to access ongoing training in pastoral care.

It is also saying that churches should clarify procedures for the reporting and investigation of cases of alleged abuse.

According to the United Church, local churches should also ensure that systems are in place for the counselling of victims, their families and perpetrators.

The church is also calling on the media to be thorough in their investigation of cases of abuse and injustice and to be sensitive in reporting the issues.

Several other organizations have chided the church - Dayton Diamond Ridge - whose deacon is at the centre of the sexual assault case.


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